Praising Southern Women of Yesteryear Through Today in Helping America to Stand
There is Really no Reason
for bugles to blow, parades to watch, and no music in the house of many Southern mothers of years ago. In all retrospect, the mothers of years ago lived plain lives. This is not to imply that they were lazy or without means. This would be a complete contradiction of the truth. These ladies worked seemingly for most of the day's light.
From sun up to sun rise, it was pretty much the same routine with the word "it" (personal pronoun) being tough tasks to face with meals to provide with little or no food at all in their cupboards and the kids' clothes that their children wore to school looked far worse than a hobo (of that time) walking wearily down the dirt roads hoping to find a shady place to rest and some gentile Southern mother who might have compassion on him and give him a crust of bread for a meal. Living in times like this was as tough as the mothers who lived through these tough days.
And whomever the faceless soul who reportedly said, "adversity and adverse times, grow a person's strong character," was not only a bona fide liar and a fool to boot.
No one including the mothers of (this) timeframe were ever brimming with joy to face another dawn and hope that the bleeding from their calluses would cease just long enough to take care of their families which were for the most part, large in number which meant more work.
But there again, no Southern mother was ever heard singing a song of woe and laying around with only one goal each day: Bellyaching about how rough it was to live in such tough times.
Some of the family eat Sunday dinner
on Sundays the two married sons of the Sergents, their wives and children often come home for Sunday dinner: the men folk go off into the woods to play poker, shoot craps, hunt squirrel. The womenfolk talk and visit among themselves and with the neighbors. P V & K Coal Company, Clover Gap Mine, Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky.
When the Measuring Tape
is rolled out to get a perfect size as to whose heart was bigger, the fathers of the South or the mothers, a pretty good statistician would lean toward the mothers of the Old South for more reasons than could be logged into a family record.
One sure-fire reason that Southern mothers were tough as nails would beat the Southern fathers hands down. The moms giving birth to their large families and in these near-primitive times, upgraded medical equipment, hospitals, and doctors were not available on the nearest street corner. Yes, some of these moms had to "suck it up" and be as tough or tougher than the pain of child birth and although some of these women had the luxury of a mid-wife, this did not decrease their pain of giving birth to their sons and daughters.
But did any of these tough Southern ladies ever cry "divorce?" Or "I want out of this marriage because it's way too tough and the pain is unbearable"? No. Even with what few lawyers being around in the South of this early era, it didn't matter. Another reason that these women were made of steel was the obvious inner-strength that helped these times and sometimes-overwhelming pain during child birth, poverty, lack of or near lack of food and the topic of shabby housing has not been put on the table.
If you (or anyone) can take a good look at the photos on this hub you will see that certain look of pain on these women who worked like dogs and some were even treated worse than dogs--due to the vague laws of marital communing where the father or husband was the last word and the law of the house. Women, namely wives and mothers did not count. In a fair comparison, a man's livestock was placed far above the price of a wife and mother.
This fact is sad, but also very true. And like the lives of the Southern women, this story is not laced with sweet cake icing, but mixed with the bloodshed from these women who chose to bear whatever toil was in front of them each day and with the quiet strength of God Himself working in the spirits of these patient, enduring women, made our Southland and even our United States the great nation that it is today.
Mrs. Elige Hicks and her daughter
in the kitchen of the four room house which rents for $10.50 monthly. Mrs. Hicks' husband and son are now working in a coal mine in Virginia and are looking for a home to buy. Southern Coal Corporation, Bradshaw Mine, Bradshaw, McDowell County, West Virginia.
Looking Back From
the early years of the South and America as a whole, historians can readily see the factual records of the families who rooted themselves in this great land and once this big step was taken, another step was taken and that being of the machinery of families and of course, that included in the forefront, Southern women who not only helped forge the South, but make the South a garden place for agriculture, education, and family foundations.
The third reason why women of the South (in this hub) were to resilliant is due to their never-bending fiber of endurance--which included daily pain of helping the husband and father to carve out a meager living and overcome the pains of adversity that many times took bloodshed in these women who were strong willed enough to charter upstream against the current in order to have better lives as well as the lives of their children who did follow in the Southern mom's blood drippings and footprints to know what the definitions of what a Southern woman really meant.
And a sincere 'thank you' to all of the Southern women who did what they had to do in order to keep themselves clothed and their families fed. These strong women were among the first in line to sign the dotted line to stand a post and serve America abroad both in the Armed Forces as well as the industries where these brave, strong women worked arm-in-arm with other women and men to strengthen America's freedoms and liberties.
This piece is wholly dedicated to all of the Southern women in the early days of America and through all of her wars and squabbles did not make any of these 'iron women' waver from not just doing the right, but living it.
© 2017 Kenneth Avery